Promoters in Spain have welcomed a reduction in VAT on cultural event tickets which came into effect this week.

The rate has been reduced from 21 per cent to 10 per cent for events such as concerts and theatre shows.

The rate was raised from just eight per cent in 2012 as Spain’s government sought to bolster public finances. While the hike may have raised valuable funds, data provided by the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE) body shows that it led to a huge drop in the number of events staged in the last few years, with hundreds of cinemas and dozens of theatres closing.

Although the reduction has been backed, there is still disappointment that the rate remains higher than pre-2012, while cinema owners are unhappy that movies remain at 21 per cent.

“It’s late,” Albert Salmerón, president of the Association of Promoters Music (APM), told the El Pais newspaper.

“This is something that the sector has been demanding for a long time, and it has also been shown that the tax collection objective sought by the government was not achieved either. Even so, we are happy and we have to celebrate.”

Ramon Colom, president of Federation of Spanish Audiovisual Producer Associations (FAPAE), told Europa Press: “Someday someone will tell us the reason for this mystery of excluding the cinema and we hope it will be soon.”

Similar tax rate

The decrease to 10 per cent brings Spain’s rate to a similar level as that applied in many other European countries. Italy also has a rate of 10 per cent, with Germany at seven per cent and France at 5.5 per cent.

The SGAE figures show a 10 per cent drop in the number of theatre performances between 2012 and 2015, while dance performances dropped by a quarter. The number of concerts fell by 22 per cent from 116,446 to 90,212.

IMAGE: Elionas2